Monkey D. Luffy is the protagonist of One Piece. That is common knowledge. Most people also know that he can stretch himself and that he is a great fighter. Not everyone, but all fans of the show certainly know that his powers stem from the so-called Gum Gum Fruit, a Devil Fruit that Luffy ate as a child and which gave him the powers he has now.
Now, throughout the years, Luffy has been able to develop his skills and has, thereby, created so-called Gears, which are special techniques related to the usage of the Devil Fruit.
Luffy has developed a total of six Gears so far. They are divided across four levels. In this article, we are going to rank the Gears by their strength and give you all the necessary information you need to know about each of them individually.
Luffy’s Gears Ranked by Strength
The Gears are going to be ranked according to their strength, as we have seen in manga and anime. They are going to be ranked from 6th to 1st place, with the 6th one being the weakest, and the 1st one being the strongest.
6. Gear Second
Debut: Chapter 387; Episode 272; “The Giant Mechanical Soldier of Karakuri Castle”
In this technique, Luffy speeds up the blood flow in all or selected parts of his body to supply them with more oxygen and nutrients. This makes him much faster and more powerful. The technique consumes even more oxygen and energy, causing more food to be consumed and Luffy to pant heavily.
The increase in his metabolism causes him to be hungrier than usual or even have paralysis-like effects after prolonged use, as in the second battle with Rob Lucci, where Luffy could only lie on the ground. Lucci, one of the first of Luffy’s opponents to witness this, compares the process to doping.
Doping involves adding more red blood cells to the body part(s), which allows the body part(s) to receive more oxygen and nutrients.
In Luffy’s case, his organs and blood vessels are made of rubber, allowing them to expand and contract faster without tearing. Essentially, Luffy increases blood flow by forcing more blood through his blood vessels, increasing his fighting power.
The enhancements to Luffy’s physiology in this mode give him the ability to use a new, more powerful set of techniques that are generally the same as his old ones, but so fast that even an experienced assassin would have trouble seeing them.
He developed this ability after encountering CP9 and watching them use Soru. Prior to the timeskip, Luffy would initiate this technique by using his leg as a pump to increase the blood flow in all of his body parts. As a result, all of his body parts become stronger and faster. The technique used more oxygen and energy.
After the time jump, Luffy seems to have refined his control over this technique, as he is now able to activate it by quickly pumping blood from one of his limbs without having to assume his original stance. Luffy’s refinement of Gear Second results in him using the ability in short, controlled bursts, activating it briefly to use single ability-specific attacks.
5. Red Hawk
3D2Y: Overcome Ace’s Death! Luffy’s Vow to his Friends
Gomu Gomu no Red Hawk is a version of Gomu Gomu no Jet Bullet enhanced with haki. After entering the second gear, Luffy uses Busoshoku Haki to harden his arm as he enters the second Busō. He then stretches it back like Gomu Gomu no Bullet. When he stretches it back, Luffy’s arm ignites, releasing a jet of fire as he delivers a powerful blast of flame to his opponent.
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When the attack hits, it creates a fiery explosion even underwater, dealing immense damage and burning opponents with fire. The Redhawk is a type of revolver made by the gun manufacturer Ruger, and the kanji name of this attack (literally “hikenjuu”) is an homage to Ace’s Hiken; in the anime, this homage is reinforced by showing a flash of Ace when Luffy uses this technique.
This technique was first used against Hody Jones in his transformed state after the bubble engulfed Noah. Chronologically, however, it was first shown during the TV special 3D2Y in Luffy’s last fight against Byrnndi World, when he used it almost instinctively (Luffy was shown being surprised after making such a move).
During the Wano arc, he has become so strong that Kaidou, who is known for his resilience, decides to dodge the attack.
4. Gear Third
Debut: Chapter 403; Episode 288
Luffy closes his mouth with his thumb, bites his thumb joint (creating a small opening), and blows into it forcefully, causing his arm to inflate. He is then able to pass the air throughout his body, using his torso as an interface for his various limbs.
Luffy blows so much air into his body that when they all focus on a single limb, it reaches the size of a giant (or more), if even close to the size of Oars. Combined with his already-strong physiology, this obviously gives his arm more mass and a larger area to attack with far greater force.
However, he sacrifices his mobility for this strength, as his limbs are now so large that Luffy has difficulty moving. In the Viz manga, this Third Gear.
The bones are the key difference between this form and his old “Gomu Gomu no Fusen” move, where his balloon form was soft and squishy like a normal balloon, while the inflated bones are very hard, much like an inflated car tire. Unlike the normal Gomu Gomu no Fusen technique, Gear Third’s bullets bounce off instead of ricocheting off.
Since the bones are much harder, using Gear Third also compresses a lot of air, making Gear Third not just a “show” move like Lucci initially thought, but like a giant mace with amazing mass when used in attacks. Thanks to Lucci’s brute strength, he is able to move his gigantic arm with ease.
In between his attacks, Luffy pulls the air back into his chest and then shifts it to another part of his body. The downside is that the delay it takes Luffy to transfer and channel the amount of air trapped in his bones can be very detrimental.
3. Gear Fourth – Tankman
Debut: Chapter 843; Episode 807
During his battle with Charlotte Cracker, Luffy revealed another form of Gear Fourth, known as Tankman. Due to the increase in Luffy’s metabolism that Gear Fourth causes, he can leave his Tankman form a short time after using it. This was the case when Luffy was able to burn the huge amount of cookies he ate in his fight with Cracker shortly after defeating the Sweet Commander.
Currently, the basic form of “Tankman” is unknown, as the only time it was used was after Luffy ate Cracker’s cookies to the point where he was completely full and used his form “Manpuku Version”. When this form was first shown, Luffy had consumed vast amounts of cookies and had grown to an enormous and bloated size as a result, and he referred to this version of Tankman as Manpuku Version.
In this form, Luffy resembles a sumo wrestler with exaggerated proportions: While his arms and legs are slightly enlarged by muscle, his torso, covered in Busoshoku Haki, becomes much larger and completely round, though still muscular at the top.
The flame-shaped haki covers not only his shoulders and arms, but also the lower part of his torso. This shape also bears resemblance to Luffy’s appearance when he combined the power of his second and third gaits into one in his battle against Gecko Moria (Giant Jet Shell).
Tankman gives Luffy tremendous Haki-based resilience: while Cracker’s sword nearly severed Luffy’s Haki-coated arm, he was unable to pierce Luffy’s stomach with the same sword when he was in Tankman form.
Furthermore, this form increases the power and scale of Boundman’s compression-based offence by using Luffy’s huge belly as a launcher. This allowed him to defeat Cracker by blasting him with Gomu Gomu no Cannonball through his incredibly tough Biscuit Soldiers.
2. Gear Fourth – Snakeman
Debut: Chapter 894; Episode 869
During his battle with Charlotte Katakuri, Luffy revealed another form of the Fourth Gear, the Snakeman. Unlike his other two Gear Fourth forms, Luffy does not expand significantly. His forearms, legs, and torso are only slightly enlarged, while the rest of his body maintains its normal proportions. Haki’s expansion is slightly more limited, as it does not appear to expand to Luffy’s shoulders and torso.
However, like his haki, Luffy’s hair becomes flame-shaped and stands out. Instead of steam, this form creates a gaseous substance that looks like a mixture of steam and fire, and like his other counterparts, seems to be draped over his shoulders like a scarf in this form. His fists flex differently as well, with the first knuckles extended.
In this form, Luffy is significantly faster and can use “Python” to change the direction of his attacks. He can also do the latter in his Boundman form. However, with Snakeman, his attacks can be continuously sped up the longer they last. This allows Luffy to not only use an attack more violently on an opponent who can dodge, but also increase the speed and power of the attack until he finally lands a hit.
It also gives him the ability to attack any area of an opponent with ease. This form focuses on dealing with agile opponents who specialize in dodging, and requires Luffy’s recently improved skills in Kenbunshoku Haki to turn his strikes into semi-hard attacks.
This form also allows Luffy to jump from a great height, as he did from a precipice in Mirro-World. However, his jumping ability is unknown compared to Boundman.
However, since his body does not inflate, Luffy’s defense is significantly worse compared to his forms Boundman and Tankman. When he was slammed into a building by Katakuri, he took the impact like a normal human and did not bounce off like in Boundman. Also, as usual, he gets hit by blunt attacks instead of them bouncing off him.
1. Gear Fourth – Boundman
Debut: Chapter 784; Episode 726
Luffy’s first Gear Fourth form is called Boundman. Luffy’s proportions become distorted and his body becomes much larger, with Busoshoku Haki covering his arms, torso, and legs. As a side effect, he is unable to stand still on the ground and instead constantly jumps in place. This form was created to fight the many powerful and large beasts on Rusukaina.
This form, much like Gear Second, seems to use the principles of Rokushiki. It has both high-speed moves reminiscent of Soru and the ability to pounce out of the air, much like Geppo, while being cleverly adapted to make even better use of his body’s elasticity: Luffy not only leaps out of the air, but also bounces attacks off his own body. His body is also now strong enough to deflect cutting attacks head-on.
After Boundman lands on the ground after an attack, Luffy can not seem to control his landing due to the distorted proportions his body takes on, and bounces like a ball in a weird way until he either loses momentum or somehow regains control and “flies” again.
Although he has increased resistance to slashing weapons in this form, an opponent using a bladed Busoshoku Haki weapon of similar or greater strength to Luffy himself can cut through his sheathed arms with relative ease.
Also, his near-immunity to blunt force attacks is not absolute. If an opponent has sufficiently strong haki combined with his physical strength, it is possible to overcome the rubbery defenses of Luffy’s inflated body and injure him.
Moreover, the defensive capabilities of this form can still be overcome by attacking with devastating power. When Luffy attacked Kaidou, the latter countered with his Kanabo. Instead of bouncing off, Luffy was flung into the air and rendered unconscious with a single hit.
Even the attacks of this form were not strong enough to hurt the person who has immense resilience, as shown by Kaidou, who received a barrage of powerful attacks from Luffy and remained unimpressed by the attacks.